Although remote working during the future of work has its own benefits such as no commuting time, more work hours at hand, there are some common challenges that come along with it, especially for tech teams, given the nature of their work.
Let’s walk through the challenges that I have noticed being part of the tech-team while working from home and the ways to possibly overcome those challenges.
1. The threat to cybersecurity
The first and foremost threat that comes with working from home is the threat to cybersecurity. Having a distributed workforce means everything moves in the digital space. It’s an area that is increasingly dangerous to both individuals and teams. The risk is even more pronounced as tech-teams access centralized resources like product code.
Any cybersecurity incidents such as data loss can have disastrous consequences ranging from financial to reputational.
Unfortunately, this is a multi-faceted dimension that needs a broad range of solutions to address. It also needs to be approached from two angles: the organization and individual employees. Each has unique cybersecurity needs, but these combine into the overall picture.
Consider the uptake of a comprehensive tool portfolio that includes Internet security applications, password managers, virtual private network (VPN) services, and more. These are relatively cheap and simple to use while significantly lowering your overall risk profile.
Meanwhile, here at Stadium, the Admin team arranges security training and exercises at regular intervals to keep the employees informed about ways to keep the data secured.
2. Misaligned team performance
The next challenge is to channel the efforts of each team member in the right direction. Misaligned team performance can be very counterproductive.
One fundamental challenge that arises with working from home is the potential for misaligned performance. Realistically, this happens even in the office, but the risk increases with lower direct interaction between employees and supervisors.
The more significant challenge, though, is ensuring the correct levels of supervision and accountability without overly stressing employees in the process. However, it is crucial to understand that over-reliance on these tools can quickly cause chaos if not carefully overseen.
Here, Cloud-based solutions come to the rescue. The Cloud may be an overused term, but it’s the perfect solution for ensuring everyone stays on the same page. There are many Cloud-based solutions capable of resolving various areas of mismatching performance.
For example, consider using Cloud storage services and associated tools that allow multiple users to work on shared documents. Communications can be done on Cloud-based channels capable of supporting dedicated team channels to collaborate remotely, yet not overload individual teams with information.
At Stadium, we have been making the best use of ‘Slack’ to stay in sync with the team. Also, “Daily Sync-Up Meetings” have been really effective in getting the best out of the team.
3. Difficulty of unplugging after work hours
The next challenge that the “Tech-teams” face is the difficulty of unplugging after work hours.
Since most of the technical commitments fall on the critical path, it feels normal to work during non-working hours if something important comes up. Clearly speaking, there is no advantage to working from home if you cannot manage your work-life balance and find it a challenge to unplug after work hours.
Switching off from work at the end of the day is equally important as logging at the right office timings.Aayush Sharma
The best way to save you from any guilt feeling at the time of switching off at the end of work hours is to create an achievable ‘to-do’ list of work and keep your Manager or the concerned Supervisor informed about your deliverables. Include the key tasks that you are expected to deliver during the day and follow it strictly. By the end of the work hours, make sure you have delivered your work planned for the day.
This way there will be no hesitation in winding up your work and you can get time to spend the rest of the day with your family.
At the same time, is it also imperative that you set the expectation clear that you are not available after a certain time and would appreciate it if the other person understands this.
Of course, there should not be an issue if there is a genuine and urgent work requirement. However, if it becomes a regular practice, you need to set the expectations with your manager.
4. Facing technology issues
Next in line of challenges is facing technology issues. Working remotely also includes challenges that are most of the time not in your hands. Some of them are technology or Internet connectivity issues that refrain you from a smooth flow of work. It becomes more important for a company to ensure that the team has the right tools and techniques to work remotely.
To overcome this, choose tools, software, and broadband connection that enables you to use it adequately during work hours.
Having said that, remote work and its challenges and benefits are here to stay. It is best to find ways to make peace between your work and life, so that the balance between the two are managed.